July 29 2014 Latest news:
Harry Kemble, Reporter
Friday, June 13, 2014
Posters have been placed along Barkingside High Street this week, announcing low-priced retailer Quidsaver Ltd may run a new open-plan Post Office branch.
The Post Office is inviting the public to give their thoughts on news that Barkingside Post Office is proposing to move to 115-125 High Street, where the Co-operative food store is located, by July 23.
The Post Office says the new premises, 85 metres away from the current branch at 128 Barkingside High Street, will have longer opening hours, the same range of products and services with the addition of the National Lottery and improved accessibility.
Cllr Wes Streeting, the deputy leader of the Redbridge Labour group, has fought to keep the Barkingside Post Office open, fearing a smaller sub-Post Office “would offer a poorer service” to residents.
He said: “My main concern is we will be losing a major retailer in the Co-operative in the high street.”
Cllr Streeting claims the council were only told of the news regarding the move “a few days ago”.
He also added: “The new Labour administration is committed to investing in Barkingside High Street. This news is a double blow. It is really disappointing to see the Co-operative leaving the high street.”
“It is important residents know what is going on,” added Cllr Streeting.
“From the point of view of the Labour council we will be taking these developments very seriously.
“We will make sure the public has a chance to have its say and we secure another retailer so we do not become one of those high street which are empty.”
A Post Office spokesman said the proposed move is part of a major modernisation programme across the company.
The spokesman said: “[The move is to] ensure our Post Office branches are sustainable, profitable and no longer reliant on government funding.
“The modernisation programme will make it easier for customers to do business, through longer opening hours and modern, open-plan environments.”
A spokesman for The Co-operative Food confirmed the sale of the High Street store in Barkingside to Quidsaver and said that the store will close on Wednesday 16 July.
The spokesman added: “Staff were informed last week, on June 6, and every effort is being made to redeploy as many as possible of the 25 store colleagues, either with The Co-operative or to help them find alternative employment.
“We would like to thank the store team for their hard work, and our shoppers for their valued custom over the years.”
Residents can contact the Post Office via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone on 0845 722 3344 or 0845 722 3355.